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Lighthouse Of Alexandria

The Lighthouse of Alexandria, also known as the Pharos of Alexandria, was a tower built between 280 and 247 BC on the island of Pharos at Alexandria, Egypt. Standing at an estimated height of 120–140 m (390–460 ft), it was for many centuries one of the tallest man-made structures making one of the Seven Wonders of The Ancient World.

Constructed from large blocks of a light-coloured stone, the lighthouse comprised of three stages: a lower square section with a central core, a middle octagonal section, and, at the top, a circular section. There was a mirror positioned at the apex of the tower which was used to reflect sunlight during the day. There was a fire lit at night to provide sufficient light. Studies show that there was a triton positioned on each of the structures four corners and that a statue of Poseidon stood at the top during the Roman period at least. A significant engineering feature worth noting is that the Pharos’ masonry blocks were interlocked and sealed together using molten lead, to withstand the pounding of the Mediterranean waves.

The enormous structure was built to guide mariners at night using fire and reflective mirrors and acted as a landmark by day. It was reported that the light could be seen from up to 29 miles away and legends claim that the light from the tower could burn enemy ships. Unfortunately, the lighthouse was badly damaged by an earthquake in 956 and was damaged to the extent that entry to the ruins became impossible after the earthquakes of 1303 and 1323. Gradually then, over the years, the last remaining rubble was built over and used during the construction of the Citadel of Qaitbay.


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